Advanced Usage

Test Hooks

A Test Run can be extended with user-defined code at specific points during its execution. These pre-defined injection points are at the beginning and respectively at the end of a complete Test Run, a Test Suite, and a Test Case.

The following functions are reserved for user code injections:


Executed at the begin of a Test Run.


Executed at the end of a Test Run.


Executed at the begin of a Test Suite.


Executed at the end of a Test Suite.


Executed at the begin of a Test Case.


Executed at the end of a Test Case.


TEST_END_OVERRIDE() is executed at the very end of a test run so that the Igor debugger state is already reset to the state it had before RunTest() was executed.


The functions TEST_SUITE_BEGIN_OVERRIDE() and TEST_SUITE_END_OVERRIDE() as well as TEST_CASE_BEGIN_OVERRIDE() and TEST_CASE_END_OVERRIDE() can also be defined locally in a test suite with the static keyword. Example2 shows how static functions are called the framework.

These functions are executed automatically if they are defined anywhere in global or local context. For example, TEST_CASE_BEGIN_OVERRIDE() gets executed at the beginning of each Test Case. Locally defined functions always override globally defined ones of the same name. To visualize this behavior, take a look at the following scenario: A user would like to have code executed only in a specific Test Suite. Then the functions TEST_SUITE_BEGIN_OVERRIDE() and TEST_SUITE_END_OVERRIDE() can be defined locally within the current Test Suite by declaring them static to the current Test Suite. The local (static) functions then replace any previously defined global functions. The functionality with additional user code at certain points of a Test Run is demonstrated in Example5.


If the locally defined function should only extend a global function the user can call the global function within the local function as follows:


To give a possible use case, take a look at the following scenario: By default, each Test Case is executed in its own temporary data folder. TEST_CASE_BEGIN_OVERRIDE() can be used to set the data folder to root:. This will result that each Test Case gets executed in root: and no cleanup is done afterward. The next Test Case then starts with the data the previous Test Case left in root:.


By default the Igor debugger is disabled during the execution of a test run.

JUNIT Output

The igor unit testing framework supports output of test run results in JUNIT compatible format. The output can be enabled by adding the optional parameter enableJU=1 to RunTest(). The XML output files are written to the experiments home directory with naming JU_Experiment_Date_Time.xml. If a file with the same name already exists a three digit number is added to the name. The JUNIT Output also contains the history log of each test case and test suite.

Test Anything Protocol Output

Output according to the Test Anything Protocol (TAP) standard 13 can be enabled with the optional parameter enableTAP = 1 of RunTest().

The output is written into a file in the experiment folder with a unique generated name tap_’time’.log. This prevents accidental overwrites of previous test runs. A TAP output file combines all Test Cases from all Test Suites given in RunTest(). Additional TAP compliant descriptions and directives for each Test Case can be added in the two lines preceeding the function of a Test Case:

// #TAPDescription: My description here
// #TAPDirective: My directive here

For directives two additional keywords are defined that can be written at the beginning of the directive message.

  • TODO indicates a Test that includes a part of the program still in development. Failures here will be ignored by a TAP consumer.
  • SKIP indicates a Test that should be skipped. A Test with this directive keyword is not executed and reported always as ‘ok’.


// #TAPDirective: TODO routine that should be tested is still under development


// #TAPDirective: SKIP this test gets skipped

See the Experiment in the TAP_Example folder for reference.

Automate Test Runs

To further simplify test execution it is possible to automate test runs from the command line.

Steps to do that include:

  • Implement a function called run() in ProcGlobal context taking no parameters. This function must perform all necessary steps for test execution, which is at least one call to RunTest().
  • Put the test experiment together with your Test Suites and the script helper/autorun-test.bat into its own folder.
  • Run the batch file autorun-test.bat.
  • Inspect the created log file.

The example batch files for autorun create a file named DO_AUTORUN.TXT before starting Igor Pro. This enables autorun mode. After the run() function is executed and returned the log is saved in a file on disk and Igor Pro quits.

A different autorun mode is enabled if the file is named DO_AUTORUN_PLAIN.TXT. In this mode no log file is saved after the test execution and Igor Pro does not quit. This mode also does not use the Operation Queue.

See also Example6.

Running in an Independent Module

The unit-testing framework can be run itself in an independent module. This can be required in very rare cases when the ProcGlobal procedures might not always be compiled.

See also Example9.

Handling of Abort Code

The unit-testing framework continues with the next test case after catching Abort and logs the abort code. Currently differentiation of different abort conditions include manual user aborts, stack overflow and an encountered Abort in the code. The framework is terminated when manually pressing the Abort button.


Igor Pro 6 can not differentiate between manual user aborts and programmatic abort codes. Pressing the Abort button in Igor Pro 6 will therefore terminate only the current test case and continue with the next queued test case.